The innovation engine for new materials

Avery Haubert

Avery Haubert, Department of Physics, University of California Santa Barbara


University of California, Santa Barbara




Nivedita L. Raveendran

Faculty Sponsor(s): 

C. V. Ramana

Faculty Sponsor's Department(s): 


Project Title: 

Effect of Processing Conditions on the Structure, Morphology and Electrical Properties of Nanocrystalline Niobium Thin Films

Project Description: 

Niobium (Nb) thin films are widely studied due to their potential industrial and engineering applications in solar cells as buffer/contact layers and superconducting devices. We report on tailoring the physical and mechanical properties of nanoscale Nb thin films fabricated using |rf magnetron sputtering with varying processing conditions. Optimized processing conditions technologically important to achieve device quality films. In this work, Nb thin films were fabricated on Si (100) with varying substrate temperatures (RT-700oC) and deposition pressures (3 – 25 mtorr). The films deposited at higher substrate temperature and lower pressure exhibited higher degree of crystallinity and electrical conductance. However, for a set of very thin Nb films (~25 nm), there was no significant variation in surface morphology with modification in deposition conditions. Optimum deposition conditions identified were used to deposit Nb films with variable thickness (25-150 nm). A detailed investigation is made to understand the effect of processing conditions and film thickness on the structural and electrical properties of sputter-deposited Nb films.